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She was then in a position to be admitted to Louis XV’s court, and became the king’s official mistress in 1745.
As a well-educated young woman who had made an advantageous marriage, she was invited to - France’s intellectual elite who prided themselves on the sharpness of their wit.
It is picked up in the deep blue pattern on the carpet, the “halo” around the Marquise’s head, her azure eyes, the duller blue of the wood paneling and the sky in the Dutch-style landscape, and the more or less pale blue tones of the upholstered armchairs, the flowerets on her gown, the cover of the musical score, and the ribbons on the portfolio.
At the heart of the harmonious palette of blue shades is the Marquise’s pale gown.
The carpet in the foreground acts as a , creating the illusion of depth and giving the pyramid its base, from which the sweep of the onlooker’s eye is guided up over the Marquise’s gown to her face.
The viewer’s gaze then moves onto the right-hand side of the work, to which we shall return in a short while.In 1749, she moved to apartments on the ground floor of the central building, the lower apartments. From 1751, she was no longer the king’s mistress, but remained an adviser and friend.It is not known exactly when the Marquise commissioned her portrait, although 1751 seems the most likely year.Jeanne-Antoinette lost her noble status after breaking her marriage vows, and had to be granted a new title to be able to appear at court and become the royal mistress. She received an annual pension which enabled her to buy several superb properties, including chateaux in Crécy, La Celle-Saint-Cloud, and Ménars, and a magnificent townhouse, the Hôtel d’Evreux, now the Elysée Palace. She was a great patroness of the arts, counting many of the leading artists of her day as friends, and was able to call on the highly skilled craftsmen who worked on the royal buildings.In the autumn of 1745, she moved into the Château de Versailles, taking over the Duchesse de Chateauroux’s former rooms, known as the upper apartments.